So you’ve bought your first cigar and it wasn’t cheap.
You’ve learned how to cut it and to light it.
But how do you fully appreciate and enjoy it?
As a new cigar smoker and fancying myself as bit of an “aficionado in waiting”, I needed to be sure of the answer.
I wanted to make sure I was getting the whole experience.
As usual, I proceeded to go “full on geek” and immerse myself in the topic, learning as much about actually tasting as was possible.
I came to learn that you can teach yourself to taste more meticulously…
The Old Fashioned.
The archetypal “cocktail”. The first. The one from which all others followed.
Spirit, Sugar, Bitters and Water.
As simple and flexible a recipe as you could imagine. [Spoiler] we probably won’t be finding the perfect version this time around.
So what are it’s origins ?
In his PDT Cocktail Book, Jim Meehan highlights that in 1806, the word cocktail was described in the Balance & Columbian Repository newspaper as,
“a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters”.
1806. So the origins of this cocktail date back 215 years.
We all dream about working for an organisation that values us, where we can bring our authentic selves to work and have equal access to opportunity.
The reality of our workplace experience is almost always the opposite, particularly if we’re different.
All the data tells us diversity and inclusion is great for business. Why then is it almost mythical to consider an organisation would operate a truly inclusive and safe working environment for it’s diverse workforce?
I have spent the last 12 months of my professional life attempting to advance a diversity and inclusion agenda within a large organisation.
Stunning Ruby Red. Seductive. Danger in a glass.
Possibly the most popular cocktail in the world right now, and for good reason. I was alerted to it by one of the coolest people to have ever lived, the late Anthony Bourdain. He loved it.
Italy’s contribution to the cocktail world offers the powerful, the sweet and the bitter in equal measure. It’s perfection comes through it’s simplicity, the joining of spirits that should not get along into perfect equilibrium.
A drink beyond the sum of it’s parts.
But let’s be honest. It’s hard to love, at first.
Smoking a fine Cuban cigar is an experience like no other.
It is not the same as smoking a cigarette.
A cigarette, is a machine made chemical laden abomination; cigarette smokers puff through more than 20 a day on average.
In contrast, most cigar smokers only smoke one cigar a week, with the remainder rarely exceeding more than one a day.
A Cuban cigar is an organically grown product created by artisans who have dedicated a lifetime to perfecting their craft. …
That wonderful combination of spicy rye, sweet vermouth and bitters. That deep amber red hue. That rich depth of flavour.
In my opinion this is about as good as a drink gets.
So what are it’s origins ?
The most recycled mythology takes you to the Manhattan Club in 1874, describing it’s invention at a party thrown by Jennie Jerome. David Wondrich disagrees, in his lauded tome Imbibe! he describes that Jennie was in fact in the UK giving birth to Winston Churchill at the time!
Whichever story you subscribe to, most believe the drink had indeed been…
I’m sampling the world’s finest drinks and cigars and writing about it. Interested in sharing? Let me know what you’re discovering @theepicure